Archive for the ‘Add Value to Your Home in Brooklyn’ Category

How to Avoid Mistakes for a Successful Remodel

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017
Successful remodel

Learn from homeowners who have “Been there. Done that” for a successful remodel of your own Brooklyn home.

More often than not, sellers will decide against selling their home to stay put and remodel. But there’s so much to take into consideration to make your remodel a successful endeavor. If you’ve decided to remodel your Brooklyn home, here are a few pointers to consider before you begin.

8 Steps to a Successful Remodel

Since you don’t know what you don’t know, it pays to “pick the brains” of experienced homeowners who have “Been there. Done that.” You can learn from their mistakes to keep from making your own.

  1. Remodel in an Off-Season

Try to schedule your remodel during a time that is less hectic for contractors. Contractors are super swamped and stressed during the summer months. Plus, remodeling in an offseason could save you money!

  1. Budget First

Know your budget before you begin. The possibilities are endless until you budget your remodel. Marble countertop is a must-have for your kitchen, that is until you discover the cost. And better to discover that marble is $2,000 over budget before you begin than when you’re past the design phase. Do yourself a huge favor. Before finalizing the design set a budget.

  1. Finalize Your Design

An honest-to-goodness successful remodel won’t happen if you don’t finalize the design after you set a budget. It just won’t. In addition to the stress it causes, vacillating on choices once construction is under way will put you weeks behind schedule. Once your design is finalized and construction has begun, don’t over analyze and change your mind. Be good to yourself and stick to your choices.

  1. Order Materials Ahead of Time

If what you need isn’t on hand when you need it, all the scheduling you’ve done will have been done in vain. Once you’ve finalized the design, order everything necessary for a successful remodel. When the materials are on site, schedule your remodel with your contractor. Then you and your contractor won’t get hung up with delays because that free-standing bath tub didn’t arrive on time for installation.

  1. Organize Your Stuff

A successful remodel includes a strategy for all your stuff that needs a new place during construction. This strategy includes allotting time to organize and move it all, too. “A place for everything and everything in its place” will prevent the mayhem caused when you can’t find anything.

  1. Get Permits

Save yourself the hassle of months of inspections and repairs. Call your local building department and get permits. Permits ensure a successful remodel. They catch faulty outlets and improper plumbing installation and make sure your remodel is to code.

Inspections are essential and take time, so don’t forget to budget time in your remodeling timeline for them.

By the way, keeping tabs on permit deadlines and booking appointments with historical review boards don’t have to be yours to do. Skip the homeowner self-work affidavit and let your general contractor handle approvals and permits. It’ll cost you a little for the added time your contractor will spend doing this, but it will remove some stress out of the remodel for you.

  1. Test Your Materials

Every paint, tile, and wood material you purchase should be given a test run before the contractor starts the remodel. Long before the start date, paint a whole cabinet door so you can get a better idea of what all the cabinets will look like in the color you picked. And cover a few canvases (which are larger than 3×3) with the paint colors you chose. Leave them in the room they are to go in for a few days. Then if you find you don’t like one or more of the colors, you’ll have time to get a different hue.

  1. Budget More Time Than Needed for Every Step

Sometimes delays are a good thing. For example, if you start falling behind schedule due to an unexpected surprise, you may be tempted to hurry. And the old saying, “Haste makes waste,” comes into play. When you hurry through remodeling steps instead of giving yourself ample time to do them correctly, you will end up with regrets and re-dos. This will cost you more time and more money. When you budget more time than needed for every step, what’s the worst that could happen? You could finish your successful remodel early!

Want to increase the value of your home with a successful remodel? Need more ideas on how to add value to your Brooklyn home with the best possible ROI? Give Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected].


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

 

How to Increase the Value of Your Home with Landscaping

Thursday, June 15th, 2017
Increase the value of your home

Landscaping, big or small, will increase the value of your home in Brooklyn.

You’ve heard the talk about the power of curb appeal. It isn’t just some urban myth that we real estate agents peddle. It’s a real thing, a powerful thing. And when you add landscaping to your Brooklyn property, you boost its curb appeal and increase the value of your home. Whether you spend a great deal of time in the yard of your Brooklyn home or not, landscaping is worth your time and investment. It beats out all indoor projects when it comes to increasing the value of your home! This is because any money you invest in landscaping is likely to pay you back a lot more than you invest.

How to Increase the Value of Your Home in Brooklyn

You may be wondering how you can increase the value of your home in Brooklyn with landscaping when the front and back yards have very limited space. Here are a few low-maintenance landscaping ideas to consider:

  • Add a front patio and a back patio if you don’t already have one. If you choose bluestone pavers, the only maintenance needed is an occasional sweep with a broom.
  • Plant perennials in a small planting bed in the front corner of your front patio. Russian sage, autumn sedum, blue carpet juniper and lavender are low-maintenance, fragrant choices.
  • Hang window boxes from your windows and grow Boston ivy along one side of the front steps.
  • In the back, plant a garden at the very end of the patio. If it gets full sun, a smoketree shrub would be a great addition. Shrubs and drought-tolerant junipers, such as blue carpet juniper, and Hollywood juniper add some color and don’t require a lot of care.
  • Ground cover and a nice layer of mulch are wonderful things. They keep weeds at bay and help retain moisture, plus they look good! Ajuga and pine-bark mulch are good choices to consider.
  • Hakonechloa grass next to the back wall of your house beneath the stairs is striking!
  • Find a good shade tree (about 15 feet tall) to plant in back. The Japanese zelkova is a good shade tree. It’s a favorite that can be found all over New York City.
  • Place a large planter with a pieris planted in it near the sidewall of your patio.
  • A long, built-in cedar bench with a spring-loaded lid is a practical addition that will increase the value of your home. Use it to store and easily access cushions and other patio gear.
  • If you’re interested in a more native landscape for your property, visit plantnative.org.

Add some outdoor furniture and a fire pit, and/or the relaxing sound of water, and you’ll have the best room in the house outside.

Small Landscaping Pays Off

Landscaping investments don’t have to cost a fortune. The return on landscaping can bring four times a small investment of $400 to $500. Research proves that landscaping adds valuable curb appeal to homes, big or small, and it adds to the value of your immediately. It also adds value over time as your trees and plants grow bigger and more beautiful. Decorating trends come and go, but landscaping endures.

It’s very special to have outdoor space in Brooklyn. With a little planning and a few well-chosen landscaping ideas, you will increase the value of your home. Enjoy your home now or enjoy the return on investment when it’s time to sell your Brooklyn home.

Not sure how much landscaping to invest in? Maybe you’re wondering which landscaping investments would be best to start with. Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate professional, today at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email him at [email protected] He knows Brooklyn, and he knows which landscaping investments will increase the value of your home.

How To Cultivate A Sense Of Community in Brooklyn

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
sense of community

Every neighbor, local official, service club and religious organization must do their part to cultivate a strong sense of community in Brooklyn.

“Civic pride is taking responsibility to do the ‘little’ things that make a ‘big’ difference.” – Jane Kampbell

Cultivating a sense of community in Brooklyn is necessary for the quality of life we deserve. Every Brooklynite – neighbors, local officials, service clubs, religious organizations – must do their part to cultivate a strong sense of community in Brooklyn. But first we must understand what a sense of community is.

What is a sense of community?

A sense of community is NOT a collection of buildings and streets in a particular area. A sense of community:

  • Is the feeling of belonging to something bigger than yourself or your family
  • Connects people to each other
  • Is people building each other up
  • Is people supporting each other in good times and in bad

Why should we cultivate a sense of community in Brooklyn?

It is critical to Brooklyn’s future success. When we feel a strong sense of community, we are driven to take action. We desire to take part in improving or supporting the well-being of our community. Those who see a sense of community happening are compelled to do the same. Community improvement and self-sufficiency become contagious. Momentum is created. This brings us together as a community and makes us proud to live, work and play in Brooklyn.

A strong sense of community:

  • attracts new investment in our community and local economy. It keeps local businesses in business.
  • discourages litter, graffiti and criminal activity. It increases the property values of homes and businesses.
  • helps support our education system
  • encourages volunteering and personal responsibility

A community with a strong sense of community believes in itself. It is able to rise above and overcome challenges through the strength and support of its people. A community without a strong sense of community depends on others to take care of its needs. A strong sense of community in Brooklyn is essential for:

  • clean and safe streets and neighborhoods
  • support for local businesses
  • vital community organizations
  • fruitful educational opportunities
  • low crime

How is a sense of community cultivated?

A sense of community in Brooklyn won’t just happen. It must be cultivated or nurtured to make a difference in our Brooklyn community now and in the future. Children, too, must be taught to take pride in their Brooklyn community. A sense of community can be cultivated in the following ways:

  • Take personal responsibility to do simple things such as sweeping walks and picking up trash in your neighborhood
  • Take responsibility for the well-being of your neighbors as well as yourself
  • Keep your home and/or business clean and in good repair. Well-maintained neighborhoods are attractive and inviting for children and families.
  • Keep our Brooklyn streets, sidewalks, paths and parks free of damage and ruin. Discourage litter, graffiti and vandalism.
  • Support local businesses in Brooklyn
  • Participate in local organizations and community events such as dinners, dances, festivals, school functions, service clubs, churches, chamber of commerce, etc.
  • Clear Brooklyn’s vacant lots of trash and debris
  • Work to prevent crime
  • Get involved in the preservation of Brooklyn’s historic sites and scenic areas
  • Volunteer to serve in the education of our students
  • Grow and maintain a garden (How To Grow A Garden In Brooklyn)
  • Appreciate and support local agriculture
  • Emphasize individual responsibility and community solutions
  • Encourage volunteering in schools, churches and community groups
  • Start a “yard-of-the-month” program with local media in Brooklyn
  • Recognize and reward those who do good deeds in our Brooklyn community
  • Promote residents to shop at local businesses and use local services
  • Use volunteer groups for projects that will benefit the beauty and cleanliness of our Brooklyn community
  • Reach out to and encourage commuters to participate in their Brooklyn community and to shop locally
  • Host and share information for clean-up days and volunteer activities
  • Set strong but fair standards for our Brooklyn neighborhoods and stores
  • Host annual clean-up days to give Brooklynites a regular opportunity to rid homes and yards of junk and debris

Cultivating a strong sense of community must start with you. Make the best of what you have. Keep your yard clean and orderly. Paint and touch up your home and/or business. Keep your yard mowed. These are simple ways to begin displaying and building a sense of community in Brooklyn.

If you’d like more information or ideas on how you can cultivate a sense of community in Brooklyn, call Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate in Brooklyn is proud to live, work and play in Brooklyn.

Sources:

http://www.fillmoreca.com/docs/vision/2020-community.pdf

10 Smart Home Improvement Projects For Your Brooklyn Home

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
home improvement projects

Smart home improvement projects that will add value to your home

You’ve decided. It’s a great time to sell, and you’re going to list your Brooklyn home. You know your home could use a few upgrades, but which home improvement projects will add value to your Brooklyn home? Which home improvement projects will make your home appealing to buyers? Be a smart seller. Use one or all 10 of these home improvement projects to add value and appeal to your home. Best Home Improvements

Home Improvement Projects #1 – Create Open Space In Your Home

Create spaciousness and a sense of flow in your home. Homebuyers respond well to open floor plans. So go ahead. Take down that non-structural wall between the kitchen and the living room. Create a big space that allows people to be together.

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #2 – Landscape Your Yard

Landscaping could make a significant difference in the price of your home. It is one of the top three smart home improvements that bring the biggest return on investment. It could very well be the most important home improvement investment a seller can make. According to a survey conducted by HomeGain, an investment in landscaping can bring a return of four times what you investment in it originally.

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #3 – Let The Sun Shine Into Your Home

Enhance your home’s appeal to buyers with light and lots of it.

  • Create moods with dimmer switches
  • Add warmth to empty spaces with soft lighting
  • Make small spaces appear larger with high wattage bulbs
  • Fix broken panes
  • Make certain each window opens and closes
  • Add motion-sensor lights that turn themselves off

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #4 – Address Home Repairs and Maintenance Now

  • How’s the insulation in the attic?
  • Does your home need plumbing leaks repaired?
  • Are the rain gutters rusty and bent?
  • Have you had the furnace and septic system inspected lately?
  • Do your windows need to be replaced or repaired for leaks?
  • What kind of shape are your storm doors in? Do you even have storm doors?
  • Has the flower garden been weeded?

Investing in home repairs and maintenance is smart, because it could be crucial to the sale of your home. Homes that get buyer attention are in tip top shape. Address basic home repairs and maintenance now before investing in that kitchen upgrade. These simple home improvement projects don’t cost much, but they add a lot of value. Two or three hundred dollars invested here could add a few thousand dollars’ worth of value to your home.

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #5 – Go Green To Save Green

Buyers ask about the cost of utilities. If you’ve invested in and taken care of the home repairs and maintenance in #4, it’s time to think about investing in green efficiency. It’s been reported that energy savings add twenty times their yearly savings to the value of your home. For example, investing in new heating or air conditioning systems can save up to 30 and 40% of what your old systems are costing each month. You could invest around $7,000 in a solar-powered water heater, get back $2,100 in green tax credits and save as much as 80% on your water-heating bills!

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #6 – Welcome People To Your Home With Impressive Curb Appeal

There’s power in your front door, and you have eight seconds to use it. You’ve got eight seconds to impress potential buyers with the curb appeal of your front door or porch. Make sure your porch has an awning or overhang to protect you from the weather while you’re fumbling for the key to your front door. Then, step back onto the sidewalk in front of your house and look at your front door through a buyer’s eyes. Or take a picture of the front of your house. See anything that needs to be repaired or enhanced? What would it look like with a flower box or two?

But don’t forget about the curb appeal of your back yard. A deck, even a small one, will add value to your home in the buyer’s eyes. You’ll get back dollar for dollar with the deck you put in as long as the right material is used.

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #7 – Spend Some Money On Your Floors

It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but 94% of real estate pros recommend spending some money on flooring. To give you an idea, investing an average of $600 to $900 on flooring could bring an estimated $2,000 in value to your home.

Fix those creaking boards, too. Well-placed nails, repairing broken tile, patching damaged floor boards and getting rid of wall-to-wall carpeting doesn’t cost much for the huge impact it can make on potential buyers.

FYI, homes with a mixture of flooring – carpet, tile and hardwood, are appealing to today’s home buyer. Waterproof flooring at each entrance is smart flooring upgrade.

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #8 – Spiffy Up The Kitchen And The Bathroom

Adding value to your home is a sure bet when you spiffy up the kitchen and bath. Ask any broker. They’ll tell you the condition of the kitchen is tops with buyers. The condition of the bathroom is a close second.

Most kitchen and bath upgrades are costly. You may not want to invest as much as an upgrade could take since you want to list your home right away. However, some bathroom upgrades may only cost about $500 to take a bathroom from “ugh” to “AWESOME!” Consider these spiffy upgrades:

  • Replace clear glass with frosted glass
  • Clean the grout
  • Remove rust stains
  • Apply fresh caulk
  • Update doorknobs and cabinet pulls
  • Replace faucets
  • Install a low-flush toilet
  • Buy a new toilet seat

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #9 – Paint Neutral Colors On Your Walls

Since you’re listing your home, walk through your home and look for chipped paint. If you find any chips, pull out the plaster and paint and take care of it now. If more than touch ups are needed, go with neutral paint colors on your walls. Potential buyers want to see themselves in your home. Neutral paint on those walls will help them be able to do this a little easier.

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #10 – Fix It Or Remove It From Your Home

If anything causes a potential buyer to ask, “What’s that,” fix it or remove it, and do so before they ask. Things like 1980’s wallpaper, a broken front step, a cracked threshold, pink and grey vinyl flooring are huge deterrents to potential home buyers. If you need help, ask a friend for their impartial advice on what needs to be fixed or removed. Then, get it fixed or removed pronto.

Links to help you get it done

Bonus – Get The Help Of A Trusted Professional

Get the help of real estate agent Charles D’Alessandro. It’s a sellers’ market, but you need his experience to get your home sold quickly. He is active in the Brooklyn real estate market and has handled many transactions. He is familiar with terms and conditions of individual home sales beyond the prices published for those home sales. He knows how to market Brooklyn homes, negotiate and close transactions. He can provide all the assistance you need in listing your home and for the best price. Call him today.

Links to help you get your home sold

Source:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20247552,00.html

How to Grow a Garden at Home in Brooklyn

Monday, March 30th, 2015
Home in Brooklyn

You can grow a garden at home in Brooklyn

Even when you’re short on space, it’s possible to grow and enjoy fresh vegetables, strawberries or flowers at home in Brooklyn. All you need is a planting box or containers, a little dirt, water and sunlight.

Proper planning is the first and most important step to grow a garden at home in Brooklyn.

  1. Choose a layout for your garden at home in Brooklyn

  • Will your garden be a practical garden or a beautiful feature to add curb appeal to your home in Brooklyn?
  • What size will your garden be? 4-by-4? 8-by-4?
  • Will you build a planting box, hire to have it built or purchase a pre-made planter or containers?
  1. Choose the materials

  • Whether you build raised bed yourself, hire to have it built or purchase a pre-made planter, this article will give you a variety of ideas and looks to choose from. 8-materials-for-raised-garden-beds
  • If you choose to build or purchase a wooden planter, buy rot-resistant wood. The following link shares 8 rot-resistant woods to choose from: 8-rot-resistant-woods-for-your-outdoor-projects
  • DIYers, planting boxes are easy. Here is a complete list of materials, tools and instructions to make a beautiful raised bed for your garden at home in Brooklyn. http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/
  1. Choose the crops or plants

  • Purchase crops that will not outgrow the garden space. They should be vegetable plants that will produce all season long, not at the end of the season only. Think salad greens, beets, peas, beans, some tomato types and herbs here, for example. grow-a-kitchen-garden-in-16-square-feet
  • Some fruit bushes are patio-appropriate and provide great curb appeal. They are good choices for your container garden at home in Brooklyn. BrazelBerries, for example, are easy to grow. They do well in either containers or a raised bed. patio-perfect-berry-bushes

Spring has arrived! Add beauty and value to your home with the curb appeal of a garden at home in Brooklyn. For more ideas on spring curb appeal to prepare your home for sale, contact your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected]. Enjoy the season’s best!

Resources:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/24538559/list/how-to-build-a-raised-bed-for-your-veggies-and-plants